While it is true that God’s ways are higher than ours, and we should always submit to His will, He also encourages us to think and act for ourselves. That’s one lesson Jared and his brother learned. For example, the idea of traveling to a new land that was “choice above all the earth” seemed to start in Jared’s mind, and the Lord “had compassion” and promised to grant the request, saying, “Thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me” (see Ether 1:38–43). And when the brother of Jared realized how dark it was inside the barges that would carry them to their promised land, the Lord invited him to suggest a solution, asking a question that we usually ask Him: “What will ye that I should do?” (Ether 2:23). The message seems to be that we shouldn’t expect God to command us in all things. We can share with Him our own thoughts and ideas, and He will listen and give His confirmation or else counsel us otherwise. Sometimes the only thing separating us from the blessings we seek is our own “veil of unbelief,” and if we can “rend that veil” (Ether 4:15), we may be surprised by what the Lord is willing to do for us.
Poem Elder Budge shares at the beginning of his talk. I didn’t share it in the podcast, but I love it so much.
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” (See The Mathnawi of Jalalu’ddin Rumi(1925–40), trans. Reynold A. Nicholson, vol. 5, 132.)